Creative Landscape Photography Tips & Techniques

Successful landscape photography is both art and science. Studying an area’s geography, in combination with an understanding of astronomy and meteorology, allows you to plan photographs that enhance the landscape with atmospheric and celestial events. ABOVE: The Milky Way over Longs Peak from the Emerald Lake Trail after an April snowstorm, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Photo by Glenn Randall.

Can a realistic landscape photograph be creative? I think the answer is yes, but only if you have a clear understanding of what creativity really means. For a landscape photographer, creativity doesn’t emerge, fully formed, from the void. It emerges when the photographer makes a new, unexpected, but suddenly obvious connection between bits of seemingly unrelated knowledge already stored in that photographer’s head. Unlike painters and novelists, landscape photographers can’t sit in a darkened room, conjure an image or story out of nothing, then put their vision down on canvas or the printed page. Landscape photographs must be grounded in reality.

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